I have been on furlough for 14 days and counting. I've spent some time re-looking my family finances and weighing my options to file for unemployment. I've had conversations with my husband about the "what if's" of a prolonged shutdown. He's been my rock when I start to freak out and has helped me to stay positive. Just another one of his great qualities that probably have come from his training as a US Army Soldier for the last 21 years. I feel I've been very realistic about what is taking place and am very aware of the steps my family needs to take to keep our financial picture brighter than that of our Federal Government. Yet, through it all I chose to look at the positive side of furlough. I've been home every morning when my daughter, Sadie, wakes up for school. I've walked her to the bus stop every morning (she actually likes it) and I'm here waiting for her when she returns. I've had time to clean my home top to bottom and make dinner every night. I've even had time to play cards and board games with Sadie, listen to all of her tales from middle school and not just rush through the evening like we do when I've been working all day. I've spent a lot of my days training for upcoming races that I'm running in Erie, PA and Kingwood, WV. My training has been made better by meeting up with my new running pal, my furloughed co-worker Nicole. Other great things about being furloughed include: not wearing make-up, work clothes or having to pack my lunch. One of the best things that has come from this time is taking pictures of the beautiful fall leaves. It's my first fall in WV and the leaves are putting on a real show. Sadie and I have been taking pictures in the same spot every couple of days so we can capture the beauty. This weekend my oldest daughter, Paige, came home from Pitt and we took her to our spot. The picture is of my girls at Cheat Lake in Morgantown, WV. I believe our country will come through this situation better as a whole. It has sparked much needed debate about our spending issues and has shed a lot of light on healthcare. It seems to have sparked much needed interest by people across the country in what's happening in our government and that's a real step in the right direction. I'm going to remain positive because I'm thankful it has given me a chance to enjoy some quality time with the most important people in my life.
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